5 Things to Take Care of at Home Before Going on Vacation

If you’re like most people with a vacation on your horizon, you’re probably feeling a combination of excitement and happiness. However, at the same time, it’s likely that you can’t help but be a little worried. You may have heard stories of friends or relatives who’ve come back from vacation only to find that intruders had ransacked their homes in their absence, for instance.

To truly enjoy your much-needed break from your regular routine, it’s important to properly prepare your home for your absence. The following are five suggestions designed to help you enjoy a worry-free vacation:

1- Secure Your Home

The first step in preparing your home for your upcoming absence is to ensure its basic security. Start by checking all doors and windows to make certain that they are all locked and secure. Make sure that your alarm system is activated and is working properly. Tell a trusted neighbor or friend that you’ll be gone and ask them to keep an eye on your property. Consider setting up timers or investing in smart home systems that allow you to control household lighting through your smartphone, which will make it seem as if someone is at home.

2- Manage Your Utilities

Adjusting your home’s utilities prior to leaving on your vacation not only saves energy costs in your absence but also reduces the risk of electrical fires. Turn your thermostat down, but keep in mind that if you’re traveling during the winter months, make sure that it’s set to a level that prevents your pipes from freezing when outdoor temperatures plunge below freezing. To minimize unnecessary power consumption, unplug appliances and electronics.

3- Make Plans for Plants and Pets

Water houseplants thoroughly on the morning of your departure, or arrange for someone to come in and water them on a regular basis. Options for ensuring that your pets are well-cared for while you’re gone include hiring a private pet sitter, finding a good local boarding facility, or arranging for them to stay with a trusted friend or family member.

4- Tidy Up and Dispose of Perishables

No one wants to return home from a vacation to an unclean and unorganized environment, so take the time to tidy up before you leave. Do the laundry, take out the trash, and throw out or donate any perishable food items that may expire while you’re gone — this will help prevent you from returning to unpleasant odors and/or a household pest problem.

5- Handle Mail and Deliveries

Overflowing mailboxes and/or packages piling up on your doorstep sends a clear signal to potential intruders that household occupants are away. Additionally, thieves may be able to glean sensitive information from your mail to use to steal your identity. Place a hold on your mail through the USPS, or ask a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up your mail and packages on a daily basis.

For an extra layer of protection, take out a good travel insurance policy prior to embarking on your adventure — and don’t free to relax and enjoy your time away.